Friday, June 25, 1999

Life in the Styx, June 25 1999 (Old Styx)

Hello Styx!
  1. Mazel Tovs 
  2. Personal: The Excuse 
  3. Jews: Holiday Alerts 
  4. Styx: Styxlist Chart 
  5. Styx: Table o'Contents Improvements 
  6. Personal: What Are You Doing Now? 
  7. Dunkin' Donuts Alert


A. Mazel Tov to [named redacted]. Since this column was supposed to go out last Friday, I had already devised proposed names, as is the Styx minhag (I couldn't send it out due to an unavoidable bout of fear and loathing; and we all know that fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.)

Proposed Names:
  1. Korach (or "Baldy") 
  2. Tzitz (or "Yatzeitz-Tztiz, from the flowering staff) 
  3. Shekeid (or "Yigmol Shkedim", from the almonds) 
  4. Tarzan (over the upcoming premiere)

B.-D. [Names Redacted] 


I should apologize for a lack of writing recently. I injured a finger earlier in the week (in a method that is too stupid to relate) which makes typing painful. My computer, suffering from age, heat fatigue and obsolescence has been crashing like the Sudanese stock market . It's nearing 6 years old -- way too old, given the dog-years ages for computers -- and I plan on replacing it when I finally move out of this crime ridden slum.


Just want to warn everyone that the fast of the 17th of Tammuz is next Thursday, July 1, starting at first light (alot-ha'shachar) and ending at nightfall (tzeit ha-kokhavim). In New York, those times are 4:16 a.m. and 9:13 p.m. (sunset is 8:31) respectively. The three weeks starts a period of mourning, so get yer haircuts in. And a Sukkot reminder. Because by the time Sukkot comes around, all the summer supplies have been removed from the shelves, it's a good idea to buy the necessary outdoors equipment now (e.g. citronella candles).


As mentioned in the previous Styx, I have removed everyone's email address from my webpage.
But, due to improvements in atomic-age technology, I have placed the Styxlist in a chart. Now you can see what your nickname is as well as the real names of everyone who is, or has been, on the Styx in its nearly four years of existence.

If you lack time and/or the ability to see the chart, just ask me and I'll send along your information.


Another public works project in production is that I'm adding improvements to the Table of Contents by putting in subject headings. I recognize that not many people have time to read the Styx; Lord knows that even I don't read it that often; and that people scan the table of contents for specific information -- like Mazel Tovs or my effervescent commentary on current events in Israel. The subject headings will allow easy reference to "news you can use".

Examples of headings:
  • MAZEL TOVS = duh 
  • PERSONAL = for things about my life right now, 
  • NEWS = commentary about current events, 
  •  JEWS = discussions about Jewish issues 
  •  STYX = issues relating to the Styx and its construction [no title] items of frivolous or humorous content


So, what am I doing this summer?

YU has a "June Zeman" which ends Friday, the 25th. After that I will be up in the Heights until I find an apartment on the East Side. Over the summer I will be still in shiur. Rav Yonasan Sacks -- a big Talmud-Hakham and anav who's a Ram in YU and a shul-Rav in Passaic -- will be "saying" shiur for the summer. I was in his shiur last summer as well and it was quite worthwhile. I hope to be finishing up my outstanding work in Revel this summer as well.

My first appearance at [name redacted] as rabbinic intern will be on Tisha B'Av. I'll be giving a shiur an hour before Mincha on Tisha B'Av afternoon. Topic to be determined; I am debating between either (a) the moral lessons we learn from the Talmudic/Aggadic passages about the destruction of the Temple, or (b) reading recipes aloud from the "Joy of Cooking"

I will be teaching two classes at [name redacted] as one part of my internic duties. One will be a parsha class on Shabbas. Naturally I am looking forward to that. The second class will be part of the shul's official adult education curriculum. I have not yet solidified a topic but I am tending towards the Laws of Chessed -- e.g. charity, hospitality, visiting the sick, etc. Commentary and suggestions are always welcome.

Next year I will be commuting up to YU by day (and by night I will don a cloak and fight crime under the code name "The Panda.") My required course-work will be lighter next year than it was this year which was such a demonic year that I officially will not recognize that it exists (it has taken three years but I finally have the First Lesson of RIETS knocked into my head: never take classes if you can avoid it).

In addition to the [name redacted] position, and finishing my rabbinic training, and finishing my masters degree from Revel, I will still be doing the Torah U-Madda project lecture series. You'll be hearing about that as usual.

I will also be spending considerable anguish and brain-power in trying to figure out what I will be doing with my life after I am ordained and kicked off the [Fellowship] gravy-train. Word on the street is that the city is hiring college-educated men for ditch-digging. But that's only one option.


I am told by reliable authorities that the Dunkin' Donuts on East 85th is no longer under any form of hashgacha. I endorsed this establishment due to my unbridled horses for donuts. (Note to all you concerned health care professionals: I am a fan of the metaphysical nature of donuts more than the physical -- hence do not worry about my daily consumption of the high-fat treats, it is merely between 0 and 1).

However, there still is a Kosher Dunkin' Donuts in Manhattan. Informants reported this to me a few weeks ago and I have not yet confirmed it via personal experience, but there is information about it listed in the Shamash Kosher Database (which is good enough for me).

Better yet, the hashgacha is pretty reliable (Rabbi Aaron "Bud" Mehlman of Congregation Ohev Shalom on 85th Street between Broadway and West End). Here's the info from Shamash (with deletions and emendations from yours truly). [Data Redacted]
 more later,
Styx :]